Dr. Sudha S. Parikh, an anesthesiologist in tri-state area, was awarded the Nari Udyami Award for her philanthropic work at a ceremony in India on Jan. 23.
On the concluding day of the 15th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas in Varanasi, at an event entitled “She The Change: Nari Udyami Award” several pravasi Indians were recognized for their work relating to women’s empowerment.
Dr. Sudha Parikh received the award for her work with girl’s education and women’s empowerment through various non-profits like Akshay Patra, Share and Care, and Project Life. Dr. Sudha Parikh is the wife of Padma Shri Dr. Sudhir Parikh, founder and chairman of Parikh Worldwide Media and ITV Gold.
“I feel great and humble to get this award … along with very accomplished women. I thank the BS Foundation (Beti Shiksha Foundation) for recognizing my work and inspiring me to do more work helpful to the community,” Dr. Sudha Parikh said in an interview to ITV Gold. “Women’s education is the most important because if one woman is educated in the family, she will educate a whole family and she can uplift a whole family,” she said.
Dr. Sudha Parikh, who is also the vice chairperson of ITV Gold, urged other social workers and those interested in philanthropy to join in helping to empower women and children through education and with other needs such as health services, and training in skills so that they can earn a living.
“I am connected with a few organizations like Share and Care and Akshay Patra,” which raise funds to help with children and women’s empowerment, and hot school lunches that keep kids in school, she noted.
Dr. Sudhir Parikh praised the Beti & Shiksha Foundation for its work and said he felt “very humble and very grateful” for the recognition accorded to Dr. Sudha Parikh. “Because this kind of recognition encourages us to work harder for women’s empowerment , women’s education, and women’s health.”
These kinds of recognition, “is like an adrenalin for us to keep working in our senior age. We are both in our 70s, but we are working relentlessly on these kinds of philanthropic work,” Dr. Sudhir Parikh said.
He reiterated his belief that “The more you give the more you become,” and that giving to society was a “double pleasure.”
“When you are giving, it is a pleasure for you, and when you look at the person receiving it, look at his smile and satisfaction, that gives us another pleasure,” he said.
“I would encourage people to support female members of the family to go out and help the poorest of the poor and children in society because it lifts the whole family,” Dr. Sudhir Parikh said.
The B & S Foundation was founded in 2008, because of the “persistent gender inequalities in India and the sheer need of finding non-traditional, high-return livelihood options for poor women,” in urban and rural areas, according to the website. The organization operates in Delhi, as well as in Jammu & Kashmir and North-Eastern states in India. “Our aim is to level the employment field for disadvantaged women by providing livelihoods options that enhance women’s economic status, dignity, and decision-making within their families.” It does this through its WE-SHAKTI program aimed at empowering women with minimal economic and social capital to become professional commercial drivers.